5 Things Your Lawn Is Trying To Tell You (And What To Do About It)

Weeds aren’t the only things that can get your lawn down. There are plenty of other problems and scenarios that it has to deal with, and often it is going to need your help!

If you are looking to be your own lawn doctor, read on for five things your lawn is trying to tell you and what you can do about it.

1. If it is turning brown…

Generally, when a lawn is wilting or turning brown, it is due a proper watering. Drought is a big issue across the country these days and the main reason for browning grass.

On average, lawns can tolerate drought for four to six weeks, after which they will die. If your garden is in that four- to six-week period of browning, you should be able to revive it within three to four weeks of deep, regular watering.

Unfortunately, if it has completely died, there is no way to bring it back, and you may want to talk to professionals who do lawn care in your area.

Your lawn will prosper more from a deep watering three times a week, rather than a light watering every-day. Aim to water between 5 and 9 a.m., which is the perfect time period as the water won’t immediately evaporate from the daytime heat, but also won’t stick to the blades overnight. This is an issue that can often lead to fungus.

2. If circles are appearing…

When circles randomly appear in grass, they are often referred to as fairy rings. Now you may want to believe that a weekly fairy gathering is happening in your backyard, but it is more likely the result of fungus in your soil. The growth of mushrooms in a garden is a common occurrence during rainy weather.

If this happens, you can choose to use a fungicide on the affected area (there is no need to use it all over). Organic strategies include using an organic fertilizer to mask the symptoms by causing the rest of the lawn to green up, or eliminating thatch buildup with a dethatching program.

If these strategies don’t work, then you may have to dig up this patch of lawn and start over with new grass.

3. If it has yellow and brown streaks…

When your lawn is looking stripey, it is a clear sign that it has been receiving uneven amounts of fertilizer.

The dark-green stripes represent areas that have received enough fertilizer, whereas the rows of yellow or light-green grass have not obtained enough, or maybe none at all. If a streak is brown, it has been over-fertilized and burnt. Ouch!

This is a common issue that people run into when they are first tending a lawn. Obviously, you can (and should) learn from your mistake and attempt to spread the fertilizer love around more equitably in the future. You can do this by overlapping wheel tracks when applying fertilizer with a drop-type spreader.

But to combat the current issue, water the lawn well (see problem #1) to embolden all the grass to grow. Hopefully, this should work; if not, you may have to extract the dead patches and reseed the area.

4. If it is looking thin and mossy…

Moss in your lawn signifies that there is too much shade, acidic and wet soil, or too little fertilizer.

Moss can be killed with a spray, but unless you transform the circumstances that provoke it, it will be back. First, check the pH of your soil and if that is okay, move on to the following steps. Very shady areas should be replaced with shade-tolerant grasses (such as fine fescue or St. Augustine) and mowed high to maximize their light-trapping leaf surface. Additionally, trees and shrubs should be appropriately pruned to increase sunlight. Another option is to remove the grass and replace it with a shade-tolerant ground cover (such as pachysandra or vinca).

5. If insects are taking over…

First of all, be honored that the insects enjoy your beautiful lawn, and then get to work making the conditions a little less favorable for them. Get to know the insects (just enough to know what kind they are) and then run to your nearest homeware store to purchase the right type of insecticide to eliminate them. Sorry insects! Again, the best lawn care professionals will be able to help with this issue.

So, can your lawn be saved? Generally, the answer is yes. You just need to continually be monitoring it and listening to what it is trying to tell you. Now that you know some of the most common problems that your lawn is trying to alert you to, you can better prepare yourself to handle the problem in the future. The garden of your dreams can be yours!

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